Joseph Henderson RSW (1832-1908) was a Scottish painter of landscapes, genre, portraits and marine scape. His genre was particularly painting working men such as shepherds, crofters, peddlers, cobblers, fishermen and farm labourers. However he also painted Scottish country and coastal scenery.
Henderson studied at the Trustees Academy in Edinburgh and started to work as a portrait painter but having done so for about twenty years he discovered his true vocation which was marine painting. He mastered the painting of the sea in all its different conditions and light.
Joseph Henderson's contribution to the burgeoning Glasgow art world in the second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th was profound. Glasgow became a centre of artistic activity in the 1860s, due in part to the establishment of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and the artists who formed the Glasgow Art Club of which Henderson was twice president. Opportunities reached a peak with the extravagant Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888 with its six large galleries devoted to art. Then came the famous ‘Glasgow Boys' who furthered the city's reputation for art in the 1880s and 90s.
Henderson exhibited his work at the Royal Scottish Academy and at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy in London from 1871 to 1886 and in Suffolk Street Galleries from 1882 to 1884.